Angelina Jolie has always toed the line between delivering acclaimed performances in awards season favorites and kicking all kinds of ass in action-packed blockbusters, lending her talents to a string of box office smash hits while continually mixing it up with character-driven turns in smaller projects.
Her 2010 spy thriller Salt looked to balance the best of both worlds, giving the actress a compelling protagonist painted in shades of grey to sink her teeth into, without skimping on the stunts or set pieces. The script was originally written with Tom Cruise in mind, but when Jolie showed an interest the studio simply gender-flipped the title hero and kept the broad strokes of the plot largely intact.
Evelyn Salt is a CIA officer with a happy home life, who finds herself accused by a Russian defector of being a sleeper agent. Forced to go on the run, she seeks to clear her name while keeping one step ahead of her would-be captors by utilizing her extensive field experience, but she only incriminates herself further by doing so.
Salt drew decent reviews from critics and hauled in $293 million at the box office, so a lot of people were under the impression that a franchise had been born. A sequel was officially announced in the summer of 2011, but the project eventually sank into the depths of development hell. That hasn’t stopped Netflix subscribers from checking it out, though, with the espionage actioner having jumped 20 places on the Netflix most-watched list since yesterday, as per FlixPatrol.